Author Topic: Need advice on lighting and magnifying (aka "I can't bloody see!")  (Read 1835 times)

Philtre

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I'd welcome some advice regarding options for good lighting and magnification for soldering.

I wear 2x (non-prescription) reading glasses for normal computer work and reading, but have to wear 3x reading glasses when it comes to closer and smaller work like soldering. The problem with this is switching between the 2x and 3x glasses all the time.

For lighting I'm currently using a small desktop halogen 20w lamp but this casts shadows, which is very annoying.

So I'm looking for a solution that provides a good light that doesn't cast shadows and a magnifying solution. I'm not sure I'd get on with a magnifying lamp as I've tried a round magnifying glass before and for me it looks distorted.

What do you advise?

pickdropper

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Re: Need advice on lighting and magnifying (aka "I can't bloody see!")
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2018, 06:27:45 AM »
I'd welcome some advice regarding options for good lighting and magnification for soldering.

I wear 2x (non-prescription) reading glasses for normal computer work and reading, but have to wear 3x reading glasses when it comes to closer and smaller work like soldering. The problem with this is switching between the 2x and 3x glasses all the time.

For lighting I'm currently using a small desktop halogen 20w lamp but this casts shadows, which is very annoying.

So I'm looking for a solution that provides a good light that doesn't cast shadows and a magnifying solution. I'm not sure I'd get on with a magnifying lamp as I've tried a round magnifying glass before and for me it looks distorted.

What do you advise?

If you're not interested in a magnifying lamp or a microscope, you could always get a head-worn optical visor.  Optivisor sells a high quality one, but it can be a bit pricey.  You can get generic variants at Amazon for under $15.  Something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Magnifying-Hands-Free-Interchangeable-Replaceable-Lenses1-0X/dp/B0752B9YGV/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1518956628&sr=8-9&keywords=magnifying+glasses
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davent

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Re: Need advice on lighting and magnifying (aka "I can't bloody see!")
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2018, 11:10:48 AM »
We've discussed the head visor i use so that's my first step. I wear progressive lensed glasses and no issue with my visor.

For lights, directly over my workbench is an old dual 4' fluorescent fixture loaded with 6000k bulbs and then on the bench i use one or two of those articulated arm, clamp on desk lamps. I don't use the clamp but have a bushing (from Lee Valley) that fits in 3/4" holes drilled into the bench top, the lamp end fits into the bushing, i move the bushing to a new hole if i need to intensely light a different spot on the bench. Bright white cfl bulb, 100w equivalent in the lamp(s). A 3/4" hole is a standard size for bench accessories and attachments.

A couple more of the ceiling mounted dual fixtures in the small area i use for my workbench, i like/need it bright.



http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?cat=1,41636,41637&p=70534
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blearyeyes

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Re: Need advice on lighting and magnifying (aka "I can't bloody see!")
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2018, 03:10:09 PM »
I got a cheap visor for $8 US  and it changed my soldering life. The leds were crap so I bought one without leds that fits better and is more comfortable. The main issue is lighting that makes shadows. I would like to try a magnifier light with the round bulb as it would give even light around the object you're trying to solder. They use that lighting principle in forensic photography for that very reason.  Bean uses one. I have since spent more on lights than a decent magnifier light would cost. I'm so cheap that I spend more money ha! Just MHO.
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Philtre

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Re: Need advice on lighting and magnifying (aka "I can't bloody see!")
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2018, 10:42:46 AM »
I bought these - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fancii-Illuminated-Hands-Magnifier-Visor/dp/B01AL2YAQ6/ - and have sent them back.

They didn't work for me, as the lenses are too small and something had to be about 4 inches away for it to be in focus. I'm sure they must work for some people, but I just didn't get on with them.  :-\

I'm now going to investigate magnifying lamps.

Philtre

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Re: Need advice on lighting and magnifying (aka "I can't bloody see!")
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2018, 09:29:44 AM »
Next up I bought this - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daylight-Company-Natural-DN1040-Magnifying/dp/B0028RDFSC - but sent it straight back, it didn't work for me.

I think I need two separate things - a daylight desk lamp that provides overall daylight and a separate magnifier.

bcalla

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Re: Need advice on lighting and magnifying (aka "I can't bloody see!")
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2018, 10:35:11 AM »
I recently got one of these at a local electronics store for $40.  I'm really happy with it.  I can mount the PCB on this holder and the lighted magnifier extends over it.





peterc

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Re: Need advice on lighting and magnifying (aka "I can't bloody see!")
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2018, 12:12:38 PM »
I am also using 2.5x specs for PCB soldering, but needed some new lighting as well.

I ended up with 2 x fluorescent tubes (24") about 3 feet above my bench. I have also got an 35w LED spot lamp intended for a 4x4 vehicle which had LEDs in it which shines down onto my work surface. It casts a light about 18" across.

This setup works fairly well but I want to re-mount the LED light on the wall at a 45 degree angle to the desk, which will give better shadow cancellation.

I'm 57 now and the whole loss of eye sight is a major PITA....

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Philtre

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Re: Need advice on lighting and magnifying (aka "I can't bloody see!")
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2018, 12:17:22 PM »

I'm 57 now and the whole loss of eye sight is a major PITA....


Tell me about it. :-(

I wouldn't mind if I had to wear one set of reading glasses but I need many. Long range is fine-ish, mid range needs 1.5x, closer range 2x, soldering 3x. I have about a dozen sets of reading glasses of different strengths lying around the house. I tried bifocals but didn't get on with having only half of a lens useful at any one time.

davent

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Re: Need advice on lighting and magnifying (aka "I can't bloody see!")
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2018, 12:35:21 PM »


I'm 57 now and the whole loss of eye sight is a major PITA....

Peter

Gel, think  vaseline required 24/7 in one eye so not of much use in soldering, no depth of field vision. I've found if i hunt and find the joint i'm going on solder, first with the solder, the tactile feedback i get from being in contact with the joint, i can find the joint much more easily with the soldering iron, pretty direct hit then. And nose to the board, lots of light, sometimes a jeweller's loupe clenched in my good eye socket, you just make it work!

dave
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 06:22:29 PM by davent »
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Philtre

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Re: Need advice on lighting and magnifying (aka "I can't bloody see!")
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2018, 05:10:04 AM »
So I bought this daylight fluorescent desktop lamp - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06ZYQ6MWC/ref=pe_3187911_189395841_TE_dp_1 - it's bigger than it looks, the base is a big solid piece of metal and it works for me! Now all I have to do is find a good magnifier.